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Stockholm Syndrome and other possible side-effects

I just finished reading the book “Room.”  It is a story about a mother who is held captive in a small confined space with her child for 5 years.

I did not want to read this book because I am already neurotic and worry about child molesters and kidnappers on the daily.  I don’t need additional information to torture me at night (this is also why I can’t watch House or Intervention.)

Anyways it was very good – the mother and the boy made this “Room” their home – and sought comfort in aspects of the room and daily rituals.

I could completely relate to this.

Do you know how people like Elizabeth Smart get kidnapped and they don’t try to escape?

They have a condition called “Stockholm Syndrome”, where they relate to their captors  and begin to feel comfortable in their role as prisoner and they are afraid to escape.

Yeah – I have that condition.

I am not comfortable trying to escape from my captors.

I have been held hostage for the better part of 6 years and have been forced to do things that I don’t want to do.  I have been stripped of my freedom.  I have been forced to be fat and wear clothes from the Old Navy.  I have been forced to stay awake for ungodly amounts of hours and entertain small children that at times behave as though they are spawns of the devil.

And yet … I don’t try to escape.

When I had my first child I had a hard time adjusting to having a baby coupled with the fact that said baby was INSANE and never slept and never got tired and catapulted himself from his crib at a bizarrely young age.

I made sure that I would be dangerously close to being admitted into the nearest mental hospital by getting pregnant when ‘Crazy Pants” – was just 9 months old.

Basically what ended up happening was that when adults tried to talk to me from about January of 2007 until quite recently – I could barely respond and was in a complete fog.

This was me. Like Goldie Hawn's character - after a day of housework and child-rearing I could no longer speak or respond appropriately to those around me......and if you were wondering - that shirt is from the Old Navy Men's Department.

I was a fat, hot mess – with very little control of the English language.  When I could form sentences I could be heard saying my 3 favorite phrases which are: 1 – “I am going to open the door and throw myself into oncoming traffic.” (when I was in a car.)2 – “I am going to gouge out my eyeballs.” (when I was in a kitchen near a sharp object)3 – “Why is this my life?” (to any adult that would make eye contact with me when I was out in public) Then one Christmas when Michael was 3 and Sam was 1 1/2 Mr. Gaga (this is his new official name) surprised me with a 4 day/3 night trip to Vegas. Exciting, luxurious and decadant…yes. The plans were made to stay at the Bellagio hotel with dinners at Nobu and Spago, massages at the spa, lounging at the pool with drinks…. What more could someone want? Well someone with Stockholm syndrome is just fine staying home with her captors.

As the trip approached I became more and more distraught.  I cried.  I hyperventilated.  I tried to cancel the trip. I was terrified that something would happen to us and my babies would be orphans.  Plus I had never left them – and they would be with my in-laws the whole time. For reference about that SEE HERE. “All you do is complain that you never get a break and now you have a chance to relax and have fun and you are still not happy.” my husband said with disgust as he polished his Elvis sunglasses and steamed his clubbing shirt.(Oh by the way – research has shown that he DOES NOT have Stockholm syndrome.) “I know but it’s not worth it” I cried. (I literally cried for like 2 weeks prior to this trip – I was not well.) It’s not like I am going on a business trip…..If I die in a plane crash – my kids will have to forever know that I am dead and left them to go to Vegas like a trashy 2-bit whore!!” I said throwing myself on the bed. My husband wouldn’t budge. “You need to take a Xanax.” my mother said unsympathetically when I would call her in hysterics.”No – I can’t.” I said flatly.”Why?  You will feel so much better!””I need my anxiety……it is part of me.”  I would say. I know.
Hardcore Stockholm in the house…… So we went – we survived the flight.I got there – I forgot I had children altogether – never even called to check in.I began to focus on how I could get a boob-job work as a burlesque dancer and only go home at Christmas. Then it was time to go home….back to reality….to my captors. So my 10 year anniversary is coming up and Mr. Gaga insisted on planning another trip. (Apparently my bitchiness and nagging has not deterred him from wanting to spend time with me.) At least the kids are older now – so that makes me feel a little better.But when I think of the pending trip – I start to get a pit in my stomach and a little bit of tightening in my throat……….gulp. I received no form of monetary compensation or product for this post. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced in any way.  I just really enjoyed the book “Room!”
But I will be reviewing another book towards the end of this week….
 In the meantime – please click on the banner below to vote for me!!If people like me and think I am funny maybe I won’t be so insane…….

LINKING TO POUR YOUR HEART OUT and Mama Kat’s writing workshop


26 responses »

  1. I have Room on my bookshelf right now. I need to read it, but like you am worried that what happens in it will hit some of my fears too close to home.

  2. I read Room and loved it too. BTW, very funny post. You definitely deserve to win the Top Mommy Blog award. Great writing and made me laugh hard!

  3. I love your blog! Glad Lisa turned me on to it–great writing. Your kids are older so I cringe at what I have to look forward to. The post on your hometown had me in stitches. The lions!

    I, too, read “Room,” after I started it and put it down, I tried again and was glad.

  4. one of your best posts

    tHis is brutally honest but also truthfully funny

    I have anxiety even without being a husband and dad. My wife and kids know my buttons and whento push the one that tells me to takes my pills and go find a ballgame and a six pack.

    My wife and I have canceled plans for ourselves SEVEN times this year because of stuff for the kids. Cheerleading, karate, and whatever else these girls come up with keep us captive. Now you knwo why when my wife and I do get out of the house, we get tattos, Halloween costumes, and go comepletely nuts. We dont know when it;’ll happen again

  5. I also read “Room.” Great book, You’ll get better at leaving your kids the more you do it, I got so comfortable with it that sometimes I totally forgot to pick them up, They are scarred forever, but they had a happy Mommy!! Great blog.

  6. I must check that book out. Me and my hubby actually had a kid free night over the weekend and I was completely miserable with them gone. Even though I complain how much they can get on my nerves.

  7. FANTASTIC post…i laughed and can relate…and now i want to read the book “Room”! downloading it to my kindle STAT

  8. Shit!! I think I have it too!

    I went to Vegas in 2009 and tried to come home early. My husband (who was doing his best Bob Dole impression the whole time) was boring me to death!

  9. You poor thing! I’m not laughing at you, ok I am laughing at you but just a little.

    Get away and recharge. Your kiddos will appreciate you more and you’ll be a better Mom after a short break. Enjoy your anniversary!

    Thanks for linking up, I’ll be back often, I need more laughter in my life!

  10. Hahaha, I love this post. I can totally relate!!!

  11. Oh friend, I SOOOO can relate. About a week before, I dig out our files, update the will & write some random crazy mom stuff on a piece of paper so the kids (as orphans) have words of wisdom before they walk down the isle on their wedding day. Ugh. That stupid Susan Sarandon Stepmom movie has ruined me!

  12. Where have you been in my life! You’re hilarious! And I totally agree with what Shawn said. Get away and recharge!

    I haven’t read that book before but I heard it was good. Maybe I should download it?

  13. That book disturbed me.

    I was really nervous leaving my kids the first time. Now, I practically skip out the door.

  14. I left my kids from very early on. But…. I love the post. So funny! And – I do find that I still have it… Right before we are ready to come home – it is already too late. I start to think about how I should be kissing and hugging them – and already be home! Anyway – great post! Kristen @

  15. Very funny! Thanks for making me feel normal when I shout that I want to kill myself on a daily basis as I drag my butt from bed to soothe my screaming 8 month old. At least your 3 complaints are more colorful than mine. Great post and I love the title of your blog. : )

  16. Ha! I would have been nervous, too. So glad you ended up having a good time! (BTW, we love Intervention ove here. The show you REALLY need to avoid is “I Survived”.)

  17. I had to laugh when I read this post because it was like reading my life. I remember the first time that we left the kids…the kids I needed a break from….I just knew we were going to die in a plane crash and my kids were so young that they wouldn’t even remember me….then like you, they would think that I just left them to jet off and have fun without them. I even wrote letters to them telling them how much I loved them and offered advice for different stages of their life…..I was a crazy mess, but like you, once i got there….it was llike, what kids????
    I still don’t go anywhere on a plane without having a meltdown first.
    I love your blog!!! New follower!

  18. Pingback: Escape from Alcatraz « Lady Goo Goo Gaga

  19. Oh, this is so well done! Brilliant! (The Aussie bloggers are wearing off on me)
    What a great slant. Original and funny as hell. I usually bog down after 350 words (ADD?) but read from beginning to end and enjoyed all.

    Cranky Old Man

  20. Heavy on the snark – i like it! Thanks so much for linking up. Really enjoyed this.
    P.S. In our house, there’s a little thing called Prozac that during PMS keeps from NOT turning into the devil. 😉

  21. I first heard about this book while on a road trip. The author, Emma Donoghue, was being interviewed on the radio and though SHE sounded engaging and articulate, my only thought throughout the entire interview was: Note to self – NEVER read this book. Like you, I do not need anything more to keep my mind reeling at night when I’m supposed to be sleeping.

    The entire premise is just too horrific to think about and yet I keep hearing good things about the book, including your review now. So maybe one day I’ll give into the perverse urge to read what I’m fairly certain will torment my mind for years to come, despite the good reviews.

    I use the Stockholm syndrome to explain why I continuously find myself elbow deep in greasy dishwater rather than installing a dishwasher.

    Anyway – great post!


  22. My step mo in law is a Gender Specialist (a therapist) she loved your post but suggested you use he instead of it.


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